Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $10 (1838-1907)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 7,200
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 16.7200g
AGW: 0.4837oz
Melt Value: $916.68 (10/1/2020)
Diameter: 27mm
Edge: Reeded
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1838 $10 MS obverse 1838 $10 MS reverse
Images Courtesy of Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
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Description & Analysis

While other denominations of gold coins were struck with minimal breaks in production, the ten dollar gold piece was deemed not necessary or convenient for 34 years between 1804 and 1838. Its relevancy to the channels of commerce was revived by two mint provisions of the mint act that was passed in January 1837. The first changed the legal fineness of all gold coins from the awkward standard of .9167 gold and .0833 copper to .900 gold and .100 copper. The second section of the mint act (actually Section 10) provided a reduction in the weight of these coins: ' ... the weight of the eagle shall be two hundred and fifty eight grains ...' The previous weight for ten dollar gold pieces had been 270 grains. This 12-grain reduction was enough to make it unprofitable to melt U.S. gold coins, thus ensuring these pieces would actually circulate.

Christian Gobrecht was Assistant Engraver at the mint at that time. It fell to him to redesign the new gold coins, and his designs from 1838 were minimally altered until major changes occurred in 1907 and 1908. Gobrecht apparently copied the head of Venus in Benjamin West's painting Omnia Vincit Amor. According to Breen, he slightly changed the headdress 'but with the same triple-beaded cord on her bun, and the same coronet (here inscribed LIBERTY).' Only 7,200 business strikes were produced in 1838 (plus four proofs), and high grade survivors are rarely encountered.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/15/2020

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1838 $10 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1650 1975 3250 3900 9450 19750 22000 28000 55250 65000 75000 100000 150000 - - - - - - -
$ - - - - 57500 - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 59
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 62

The chart showing F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/29/2020 1838 $10 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---25591241011--1--------59
-----------------------
----------3-----------3
-----------------------
Total---25591241014--1--------62
 ---3%8%8%15%19%6%16%23%--2%-------- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1838 $10 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111111111111111111
1111111111111111111110
0000001111111111111100
0000001111111111111100
1838 $10 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base111127115052525356442905628628670897543775684281068119091281014197763574975181345611
114241349184528713806473658476553724076147980917913484220943272649176748881098651345610
00000038064736584765537240761479809179134842209432726491767488810986500
00000040485182606668217391768582049930162872509737351563758620312221300
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.